Today I did not wear sunscreen, because it just didn't seem like I was spending enough solid time in the sun to need it. I am hoping I won't regret the decision. I generally can't tell if I'm sunburned until the next day, so we shall see.
We did all kinds of stuff today.
Also, I forgot to mention that we played the Al Capone Mystery Rummy game last night. Gary (the FIL) doesn't like games much, but he humored us. Last year he even played mah jongg! Anyway, we played Mystery Rummy and I kicked ass. I've always enjoyed rummy games, though I'd never played any until the summer I spent at Stanford (1990?). Sean Welch taught me. We usually played gin rummy.
Today we drove over to the west side of the island, to Hanapepe, where there is the "furthest west bookstore in the United States," which is also the only used bookstore on Kauai. It's called "Talk Story," and they have two very cool kitty cats wandering around (well, one was wandering; the other just lounged on the front counter, daring people to pet him). The owner majorly set off my gaydar, but he talked about his wife, so apparently we disagree on that point. I bought a couple books (one by Jose Saramago and one by an Irish author whose name I can't remember) and was pleasantly surprised by the store's selection of literary fiction, especially from foreign countries. Apparently, Shannon and his dad were less impressed, because they stuff *they* were looking for (Terry Pratchett, I think) was not very well-represented.
Around the same area, we went out to a "swinging bridge" that spanned the river there. It's a narrow (two people can't really walk abreast), plank-constructed (showing glimpses of the river between the planks) pedestrian bridge which sways a lot when you walk on it. The further you get toward the middle, the more it sways. I was crossing with Shannon and Gary, but as it started swaying more and more, I made a cost/benefit analysis. There actually wasn't anything on the other side of the river to cross to ... people were just crossing for the fun of the bridge. Some people were leaning their weight left and right to swing the bridge even more. I decided that I'd had enough swinging bridge fun, and I went back to firm ground to wait for Shannon and his dad. Shannon clowned around a lot while Gary took pictures. I enjoyed the non-swinging platform.
Then we went to ... um ... somewhere. Eleele? Anyway, we went to Jo Jo's Shave Ice, where I went with Gary and Mary on one of our previous visits. Apparently, there is now a sort of battle between the "Jo Jo's Shave Ice" stores, as an imposter has taken over the original location but kept the name, and the original store has opened a location -- again, under the same name -- around the corner. There's a whole lotta Jo Jo's goin' on. All very complicated.
We took our shave ice down by the beach and spent 10 minutes or so consuming huge amounts of ice and flavored sugary syrup. Shannon and Gary finished theirs, but I had to throw almost half of mine out, because I didn't eat it fast enough to keep the ice from melting. Afterward, Gary regretted finishing his, but Shannon did not seem adversely affected by the sugar or artificial colors and flavors.
While we were over there, we saw a random road-side sign that inspired us to pull over and go to "Fort Elisabeth," which is an unfinished Russian fort (I think from the 1800s). Apparently there are two other Russian forts on Kauai, too. The site was very badly signed, so we had some trouble finding our way, but we did eventually see some relatively high stone walls made of oddly-shaped black volcanic rocks, the tops of which were sprouting an impressive array of green weeds. Still, the site was right on our way, so I'm glad we stopped. It was kind of cool.
Then we came home and rested for a bit, largely so Gary could recover from the shave ice incident. Shannon and I read some Harry Dresden and just kicked back, and then had a bit of lunch. Turkey sandwiches for Shannon and me; chili for Gary. Chili isn't generally what I would choose for lunch if my stomach was bothering me, but he seemed to like it.
After lunch we all packed up to go to Brennecke's Beach, where Shannon and his dad boogie-boarded while I sat in the shade and listened to Midnight's Children (lots of stuff about Hindu/Muslim tensions in 1947 India now). Shannon and Gary seemed to have a good time, and I felt very relaxed.
Then we headed home to rest up and do some laundry before packing for our departure tomorrow morning. On the way back to the in-laws' house, we passed an old white-haired woman on the side of the road with a large, brown horse on a tether. She was waving at us very enthusiastically, so Gary wasn't sure whether she was just being friendly or gesturing for assistance. So we stopped beside her and asked if she needed help. She smiled broadly and said she'd just been waving, but that her horse just had major surgery and he's doing great. Um ... okay, lady. Are you flagging down a lot of cars to tell people that? Still, she seemed awfully happy about it, so maybe she just really wanted to share. Then she told Gary to drive more slowly in that area, which was kind of bizarre, because Gary drives slower than most of the drivers here. Well, maybe her measuring stick is the speed of horseback riding, in which case Gary's car might seem to be going pretty fast.
Now we are at Casa des In-Laws, and Shannon is doing laundry while he and Gary watch the ABC News. I'm grabbing some time to myself. Maybe I'll do some crossword puzzles.
Tonight we're going out to dinner, but I don't know where. I'm looking forward to it, because I love eating out. When we get home late tomorrow evening, we may take our suitcase for a walk to Nation's to get some late dinner after the trip. That sounds good, too, but I will just be glad to be back in Berkeley.